#1
Hey UG,
I've been putting some money away whenever I possibly can. I'm looking to have about $1500USD by December, and I'm unsure of wether or not to keep saving, or look around fo amp heads then. Now, I'm not really asking what amps would be better, because it's hard for me to describe the tone I'm looking for. The most important things for me would be descent/good clean channel, and a distorted channel with a bit more gain then I would need. Also, I know some amps are hard to blend when playing at any gigs, so I'd prefer it to have some versatility as well.

Now, I'm looking at quite a few different amps, but the ones I'm naming here are the ones that I'm unable to play, due to the fact that no shops anywere around my area have them. I understand that some of these amp heads may be over the price I stated, but I'm looking for used, and I suppose I could always save some more cash if I really needed too. Here are some that I'm interested in hearing about:

-Peavey 5150.
-Peavey 5150II.
-Engl Fireball.
-Engl Powerball.
-Mesa Roadster.
-Mesa MK.III.
-Mesa MK.VI.
-H&K Switchblade.
-Splawn Nitro.
-Randall V2.
-VHT Pitbull UL.

I do understand that some of those prices even being used, may be a little over what I'm looking to spend, but I'm willing to save a little extra if needed. If there are any amps that I should try to look at in this price range, then please feel free to tell me about it. I'm currently using a Peavey Ultra 120, but it seams to be to fizzy, and not as 'tight' as I would like it to be. Please be sure to descibe whatever amp it is that you know anything about.

Thanks to all of those who can help!


-Mike.
#2
The Mesas are all great choices for what your looking for, I'd go for the MKIV unless you need four channels with three modes each, which is a little bit of an overkill IMO. The ENGLs are pretty good too but I personally like Mesas better.
#3
Well, I've played Single, Dual and Triple Recs and thought they sounded a little muddy. I'm not sure if the Mesa's I've listed are the same way or not, although both the MK VI and the Roadster get alot of good reviews. I've seen great reviews on all ENGL's as well, although I know the ENGL is a completely different beast.
#5
Quote by Horlicks
Personally, ENGL
Expect a lot of people to recommend Splawn though


Yeah well, I'm guessing most the people who will recommend Splawn are the ones that've never played one.
Go you have any experience with either of these ENGL's I've listed?
#6
I've tried the Fireball, it's an amazing amp for metal. Can do anything from Metallica to LoG. It sounds pretty good at 1 on the dial so I bet it will get even better if you can turn it up a little more. To be honest, it is primarily metal-only, but it's excellent at what it does. It's very tight and would probably cut through well in a band situation.
#7
Quote by Horlicks
I've tried the Fireball, it's an amazing amp for metal. Can do anything from Metallica to LoG. It sounds pretty good at 1 on the dial so I bet it will get even better if you can turn it up a little more. To be honest, it is primarily metal-only, but it's excellent at what it does. It's very tight and would probably cut through well in a band situation.


Awesome. Have you had the chance to try the cleans on this amp? My main concern with the Fireball would have to be the single EQ on it.
#9
This is just for the head correct? What cab will you be running it through, or are you still undecided? Because depending on if you already have a cab, and what speaker is in it, depends on which one of those amps I'd choose, but regardless:

-Peavey 5150 - I owned one of these a while back. Great for heavy tones but got too muddy for my tastes, was also too fizzy and harsh for me, but then I like smoother tones. The cleans really aren't as bad as people make them out to be.

-Peavey 5150II - I like these a lot better than the 5150/6505. They're a bit more smooth sounding and not as harsh to my ears. A lot of people prefer the original though.

-Engl Fireball - Never tried this amp, but I hear it's pretty much all out death metal and nice cleans. I'm not sure how it'd cut in a band situation as I've heard a lot of people bagging on Engls, not being able to cut as well as other amps, but that was more so with the Powerball, not sure on the Fireball.

-Engl Powerball - I actually really considered buying one of these after my Mark IV, but decided against it because a friend of mine who owns one said it's mid-gain tone wasn't as good as he'd like it, which was important to me, not sure about you. The cleans on it are great though and it can get pretty damn heavy.

-Mesa Roadster - Honestly, I liked the Roadster, but for the price it was, I'd rather just have an older 2 Channel Recto because it's more simple to use, it's cheaper and it had a similar sound imo, the Roadster was loose compared to the Roadking though I thought. The Roadster would have nicer cleans than a 2 Channel Recto though.

-Mesa Mark III - Basically like a more aggressive sounding Mark IV. I really dig this amp for the price you can pick them up for and the tones it can get out of it. Not quite as versatile as a Mark IV, but I think if I was going to play just metal through it, I'd choose the III over the IV. Make sure you get one with a GEQ.

-Mesa Mark IV - I owned this one before my Splawn. I loved the amp at first, but after a few months with it, I really started to notice a lot of it's downfalls. The clean channel sounded too sterile and bland to me, was also too warm for my tastes. R2 was basically unusable, it had no balls what-so-ever to it, even with a boost or the EQ engaged. The Lead channel however, was great. I really enjoyed it and it had a great smooth tone to it but with a huge lowend for rhythms.

-H&K Switchblade - Not tried one of these, but for $900-1300 or so you can pick up a used H&K TriAmp, which had always interested me.

-Splawn Nitro - The amp I currently own. What can I really say about this thing, it owns. The Nitro has the biggest lowend on an amp I've ever heard, and it's very tight sounding. Extremely aggressive if you want it to be, or smooth for leads. Being an EL-34/KT-77 based amp (at least mine is), I wouldn't have thought the cleans would be as good as they are, but the cleans on the Nitro are nothing short of amazing. This amp does NOT mix well with Celestion Vintage 30s, this is probably the one time when you will actually hear me recommend G12T-75s.

-Randall V2 - Never tried one. There's a few guys I know that really like this amp, but if I was going to spend that much on a Solid State amp, it would be a Vetta or HD147.

-VHT Pitbull UL - I love this amp. The UL is extremely versatile, but for metal it absolutely slays. A lot of people don't like the VHT tone though, it's very dry, which I really dig, but it's not for everyone and I really wouldn't suggest buying one of these without trying it or another VHT first. I wanted one of these, but couldn't find one cheap enough so I went with the Nitro, not that I'm complaining
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#10
-Peavey 5150. Great amp for metal but can be a little fizzy at lower volumes and sometimes even at higher volumes. Heard retubing helps. Cleans are decent but not great. If you think the Ultra is to fizzy and not tight enough then you will not like this amp.

-Peavey 5150II. Not as raw sounding to me with a touch less gain still a great amp but does suffer from being fizzy as well. Cleans are a little better but still not great.If you think the Ultra is to fizzy and not tight enough then you will not like this amp.

-Engl Fireball. Great amp with smooth gain and alot of tap. Suffers in versatility and only being 60 watts she can break up pretty quick if you crank it which may be a good thing but may be be a bad thing depending on how you like your tone. Great low volume amp.

-Mesa Roadster. Best out of all the Mesa's I have tested but does suffer a bit from the loose low end and volume needing to be cranked a bit to get a great tone out of her. Might not be a good choice for a bedroom amp.
#11
Out of that lot splawns, the lower end engls are unrefined i wouldnt pick any engl under the savage. I would go for the Framus Cobra, despite of its poor build quality. If you are happy with class a check out the crate v series dont let the price fool you they are great.
#13
I've tried a splawn competition before, amazing amp
05' G&L S-500
95' Godin LGX

96' Yamaha APX 6-A

Peavey Classic 30
Maxon OD808
#14
Awesome replies eveybody, seriously. It's very hard for me to chose amps when I'm not able to try them out. I've heard clips of all of these amps, and it's had me curious about each of them ever since.

I'm playing a bit of 'chug' riffs, meaning I need some lower end. Not to much, because a bassist will kinda wash me out when playing. I need something that can get a nice deep distorted channel, but also cabable of getting smooth for lead playing like bands such as Nevermore. As I said, the cleans don't NEED to be great, but deffinatly usable.

Thank all of you who have given me info on these amps. It helps me alot hearing it from people who have experience with these amp heads. Also, I'll be puchasing a new cab shortly after the head, so if you have any suggestions as to what cabs would go good with each amp, it'd also be helpful.
#15
i would focus on the amp tone you want First and then match your cab accordingly.

have you checked what's around you locally. You might be surprised at what is there that you can at least go try out. It might broaden your perspective.

craigslist not local shops i guess as you have already checked those.

Nice reviews MC and IP!

..
#16
Yeah, I've been checking craigslist everyday, seeing if there are any amps I'd be interested in. As for shops, none of them sell the amps I've listed, besides the Roadster. I may go on each amp companies website and see if there are any dealers I don't know about who may carry the amps. Hopefully I can find one shop that has a few of these amps in stock, rather then going to numerous amounts of places, which wouldn't be so hard if I had my liscence.
#18
Why arent you considdering a EVH 5150 III?
Thats a god damn fine amp. I personally prefer it over rectifiers, nitro's, VH4's and Uberschalls.
Definatly try one out! But do it with the EVH cab. That combination is just awesome.
Hufschmid
Blackat
Washburn USA Custom Shop
PRS
Mayones
Orange
Diezel
Engl
#20
Quote by which ones pink
Check out Erock503's profile. There are clips of the Mark IV and Splawn on there, as well as several other high-end high-gainers.

Oh wow, I didn't realize he still had all those clips up, thought he deleted them. He deleted my favorite clip though of his Laboga Mr. Hector
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com